What The Heck Is Maple Water?

Image courtesy of @RunRockPrincess

In a world awash with trendy products — from artisanal bone broths to fermented drinks that some say smell like yesterday’s diapers — it can be difficult to understand what some products are, and why they’ve become popular. Take maple water, for example. It may sound like you’d be guzzling syrup, but proponents say it’s just a single ingredient, plant-based way to stay hydrated.

Maple water is a single-ingredient beverage sold under brands like Drinkmaple, Sap on Tap, and Vertical Water, NPR’s The Salt reports.

Though it comes from the same place as maple syrup, maple water isn’t sticky or sweet: farmers tap maple trees to get their sap in the spring, and instead of boiling it down like they would for syrup, they make maple water from the unprocessed sap, which is 98% water. No preservatives or additives are thrown in.

“It’s the opposite of what people expect,” the founder of Sap on Tap, Cyrus Schwartz, tells The Salt. “The flavor is very subtle, not sweet. We always tell people, ‘You have to try it.’ ”

Due to its trendiness and hydration factor, maple water is often compared to coconut water, but it has fewer calories and sugar averaging 15 calories and 3 grams of sugar to coconut water’s 45 calories and 11 grams of sugar per typical 8-ounce serving.

Maple water also has manganese, which is a nutrient responsible for calcium absorption and blood sugar regulation, NPR notes.

And despite the fact that it’s starting to become popular itself, it’s not like this is a new trend, say those in the industry, it’s just that more people are paying attention.

“People have been drinking maple water from buckets on sap farms for hundreds of years,” Kate Weiler of Drinkmaple told The Salt. “We like to say that the un-trendiest beverage is now trending.”

From Tree To Tap: Maple Water Makes A Splash [The Salt]

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